End of the OA-8E mission

Today Orbital ATK OA-8E robotic cargo spacecraft finished its lasting 36 days mission.

Cygnus OA-8E S.S. Eugene Cernan  was launched on the top of the from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport LP-02 on November 12, 2017 at 12:51 UTC . It reached International Space Station two days later and it was attached to Unity nadir docking port.

After ordinary unloading of 3200 kg of cargo vehicle remained docked until December 5th, 2017 when it was unberthed and released from Canadarm2 next day. From that moment spacecraft begun its second phase of mission.

After release performed above the Station, operators from Orbital ATK mission control station in Dulles ordered Cygnus to fire thrusters and reach 450 km by 455 km, 51.64°orbit. In following days vehicle deployed 14 Cubesat satellites from Nanoracks adapters. Next Cygnus performed series of experiments including Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) pressure reduction. This particular experiment showed technical capabilities of Cygnus to actively change conditions inside PCM what should be useful information for customers considering using PCM as platform for their future scientific experiments.

Reentry was preceded by lowering the orbit by Cygnus to 373 km by 393 km and another burn necessary to start re-entry today, on December 18 over the Pacific Ocean. Orbital ATK officially confirmed Cygnus finished its operational life at 12:54 UTC after destructive re-entry east of New Zealand.

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